Tascam DR-100 MK3

Portable Digital Recorder

  • Recording and playback of MP3 (up to 320 Kb/s) and WAV files (up to 24 bit/192 kHz)
  • Supports SD / SDHC cards (from 64 MB up to 128 GB)
  • 4 Built-in condenser microphones
  • 2 XLR microphone inputs with switchable 48 V phantom power - usable as balanced line inputs
  • S/PDIF Digital input
  • Switchable low cut filter (40/80/120/220 Hz)
  • Automatic level control with limiter
  • Stereo line input mini jack
  • Headphone output
  • Separate stereo line output (adjustable)
  • Display resolution: 128 x 128
  • Multilingual menu (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese)
  • USB 2.0 connector
  • Built-in speaker
  • Power supply: AA batteries and built-in high-capacity lithium-ion battery (approx. 12 hours)
  • Weight (with/without batteries): 425/375 g

Further information

Integrated Stereo Microhone Yes
Recording Tracks 2
Microphone Inputs 2
48 V Phantom power Yes
Line Inputs 1
Storage Medium SD/SDHC Card
Headphone connection Yes
Integrated Speaker Yes
Resolution max. 24 bit
Max. Sample Rate 192 kHz
Limiter Yes

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4.6 / 5.0
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17 written ratings Read all reviews
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handling
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13.10.2016
I felt i should add a few short words about the Tascam DR-100 iii as there is very little info on the web in regards to it's performance.

**Just to clarify- i don't consider myself an expert, so this is simply my experience and not some highly objective technical analysis**


Sound Quality + Preamps:


I needed an upgrade from my Zoom H5 due to my newish interest in using contact microphones and hydrophones. Some of the very faint and quiet sounds i recorded with these types of mics on the H5 were extremely noisy- too noisy to be useful in fact. Im glad to say that the Tascam dr100 III is working out nicely in this regard. Not only are my recordings significantly cleaner, they also have more evident detail too. Some of the very quiet sources still need a bit of cleaning up with Izotope RX, however, its mostly minimal editing in this regard.

I have been using the Audio Technica BP 4025 a fair bit with recording very quiet ambiences. Im finding that i can record very faint quiet ambiences late at night with almost no audible noise. To be fair, the BP4025 is already excellent in this regard, however, with the dr100iii, i can get some proper gain with such very quite type recordings. I will soon be testing it with some DPA4060 and will add more to this when i do so.

One other thing with regard to my experience with mics- tonight i took out my old and well and truly battered OKM binaural Studio mics. I skipped the A3 battery box and plugged straight into the dr100III and i was shocked at how decently they performed here, They are very noisy mics with a self noise of around 36db i think. They were never any use for recordings quiet ambiences. This was a big and pleasant shock.

I compared the audio quality of the preamps to that of my Audient ID14 and they performed very favourably to them. I would still say that the ID14 was cleaner with more detail. Still though, they compared very favourably i would say- they are not too far apart in terms of quality.


Battery Life:


The battery life is amazing! From one single charge from the internal battery, i could go two days of many hours in the field doing all sorts of recordings (using a mix of phantom power on and off). I was shocked to see that when i was first testing it out that the battery life meter was still looking almost full after a solid hour of recording. the AA battery life is the complete opposite. I managed to drain two AA batteries in 10 or so minutes. It would only be good as a backup- but considering how amazing the internal battery is, it's almost irrelevant. A++ to Tascam for this.

Build Quality:

I would say it's pretty decent in this regard. its not amazing by any means, but it;s fine for sure. It feels kind of like a plastic-metal affair- not super robust, but certainly far from a cheap plastic- fantastic cheap sort of thingy.

Other Features:

To be honest, i haven't explored a lot of the features available on the unit as yet. Someone else may be more qualified to fill in the blacks in this respect. I have to say thing, i love the fact that there are buttons for phantom power and that i don't have to scroll through menus as much as on the Zoom H5. Its a much more solid and user friendly experience than that was. Also. the losing time is really fast- this is a definite big plus.


Summary:

I was strongly considering the Zoom f4, but gave it a miss due to the fact that when batteries are added to the F4, It becomes roughly 3 times the weight of the DR100iii. If you are like me and have a ton of other gear to cary around, this is a significant difference. The fact that it performs very well in terms of how quiet and clear the preamps are, and the fact that it has an excellent battery along with it's ease of use makes it a clear winner for me.

All in all i would most definitely recommend this to someone who wants something handy to take places without adding hefty bulk, yet, who lost doesn't want to compromise too much on sound quality. A great product i would; say for sure.
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Total
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Great audio with slight problematic features...

Cagan, 23.07.2017
Great audio, great preamps and rice features. There are several cons to this recorder though. Firstly the shockmount feature is trash, it doesn't behave like it has shockmounts, every touch and vibration you make on the recorder is clearly audible in recordings...
Secondly, it can't create files bigger than 2GB on the SD card. So whenever your recording is over 2GB in size, it keeps recording seamlessly by switching to a new file but it resets total recording time on the screen! I was doing field recording for 3 hours and I almost had a heart attack when I saw on the screen that it has been recording for 10 minutes... Why is it so hard for Tascam to show total recording time? SD card handling is finnicky with this one. Make sure you eject your card safely from the computer otherwise the computer won't recognize the card next time you insert and will show RAW filesystem. Also at least a basic carrying bag would be fine. I'm not asking for field recording bag with many port holes, I am just asking for a basic bag... A prosumer recorder should have come with a bag for protection.
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